Trees on your property – pruning or removing

The COVID-19 coronavirus situation is changing rapidly and is impacting on Council operations. Council has ceased site inspections for non-essential tree applications. There may be some unavoidable service response delays and disruptions to non-essential tree applications. Urgent and emergency tree works will be prioritised on a case-by-case basis. Please call Council before you lodge an application to discuss your situation on 9392 5000.

Have a tree question?

Lodge an enquiry using Council's online customer request management system:

Lodge an enquiry

Tree Management DCP

Trees located on private land generally require Council consent to prune or remove. Council's Tree Management DCP (PDF 563.5KB) (updated 11 February) sets out the controls relating to what work does or does not require consent, please also refer to our frequently asked questions for more information.

You can apply to prune or remove a tree in three ways outlined below. Once your application is received a Council officer will contact you to arrange a site inspection. Applications (with complete documentation) will generally be finalised within 28 days. If Council requests additional information within this period the count will stop and only continue once this information has been provided.

If you are seeking permission to prune or remove a neighbour's tree, Council can only process the application with the appropriate owner's consent.

Minor works application

A tree minor works application is required for the removal of tree species listed here (PDF 258.1KB) or dead trees.

Complete the tree works application form (PDF 295.5KB) and lodge the application form on our online self-service website:

Go to online self-service

Minor works requests have no fee.

Tree permit application

A tree works permit is required for most trees unless covered above or where the works to the tree/s is an exempt activity, see below:

  1. Canopy lifting to 2.5 metres above ground level;
  2. Selective pruning to a 3 metre clearance above the roof or from the face of all structures; and
  3. The pruning of deadwood that does not have hollows or provide habitat for native fauna.

Complete the tree works application form (PDF 295.5KB) and lodge the application form on our online self-service website:

Go to online self-service

Lodging a tree permit application requires a fee to paid. Refer to Council's fees and charges.

Development application

Development consent is to be required for works to or removal of trees only in the following circumstances:

  1. Removal of trees identified on the Inner West Council heritage trees list (PDF 146.8KB).
  2. The tree forms part of an Aboriginal object or is located within an Aboriginal place of heritage significance or is located within a heritage conservation area or item where the works are determined to be not of a minor nature; or likely to have an adverse impact on a Heritage Conservation Area or Heritage Item.

Visit the development applications page to find out how to make a development application.

Lodging a development application requires a fee to paid. Refer to Council's fees and charges.

Development fact sheets

The fact sheets below are provided to guide application when engaging technical experts such as arborists, engineers and plumbers to provide reports that may be required to support your application. Please ensure that the consultant you engage is aware of these report requirements prior to engaging them. Reports submitted to Council that do not meet these minimum requirements may be rejected by Council.

Contact an arborist

Council does not undertake the pruning or removal of trees on private property. This work is best undertaken by a qualified arborist. It is important to hire appropriately qualified people to carry out tree works.

Before employing an arborist, check that they are insured and carry Australian Qualifying Framework (AQF) certification.

Consulting arborists (Consultant)

Consulting arborists have the training and experience to provide expert assessments on the health and condition of trees.

If you need specialist advice concerning your tree/s or require an arborist report, as per Council’s conditions, you will need to engage a consulting arborist with AQF Level 5 or equivalent in horticulture (arboriculture). Council's minimum requirements for the different types of arborist reports are provided in the fact sheets above.

For more details on consulting arborists please contact the following associations:

Institute of Australian Consulting Arboriculturalists

Arboriculture Australia

Working arborist (trade)

Working or practicing arborists are trade qualified to care for trees, and are generally engaged to provide pruning and/or removal works.

Once you have obtained permission to undertake tree works, look for an arborist who has AQF Level 3 qualification or equivalent in Horticulture (Arboriculture). This ensures that the work is done in accordance with the Australian Standards.

An arborist who has a minimum AQF Level 4 qualification should be engaged to assess root pruning requirements.

For more details on working arborists please contact the following associations:

Tree Contractors Association Australia

Safe Work NSW

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Page last updated: 14 Aug 2020